Turkey Urged to Normalize Ties With Israel Before 2015

Zali De Toledo

ANKARA—The leader of the Association of Turkish Jews in Israel has urged Turkey to normalize ties with Israel before 1915, the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, or risk the Jewish lobby to “stay neutral” on that issue.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Zali De Toledo said : “As 2015 is approaching, Turkey should take into account its interests and should normalize relations with Israel by appointing an ambassador to Israel as soon as possible. If both countries miss the opportunity to mend the ties, the Israeli lobby will likely stay neutral when 2015 comes.”

De Toledo told Today’s Zaman that she had done her utmost to pressure the Israeli lobby in the US to refrain from labeling mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans in 1915 as genocide, adding: “I was the strongest supporter of the Turkish position. And now I am really disappointed to see Turkish-Israeli relations at this point.”

De Toledo was speaking of strains in Israel-Turkey relations after the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010. In late March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology to Israel, but that has not translated into immediate thaw in relations.

De Toledo served as Israeli cultural attaché to Turkey for 10 years, from 1993 to 2003. Israeli President Shimon Peres offered her the position in a bid to improve relations between the two countries.

Referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s harsh stance toward Israel over the Gaza issue, De Toledo says: “It’s a one-man show in Turkey. Why is Erdoğan asking for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza? Why is he interfering? This is an issue between Israelis and Gazans, after all!”

Israeli apology has nothing to do with isolation in region
Israel did not apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident because it felt isolated in the Middle East, according to Reuven Azar, head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bureau for Middle East Research, reported Today’s Zaman.

“It is not an issue of feeling alone in the region or not. It is more than that. Israel considers Turkey a major player in the region and wants to have an alliance with it just like in the past years. Israelis have sympathy toward Turkey and want to restore relations,” Azar told a group of Turkish journalists at the Israeli Foreign Ministry earlier this week.

“Israel is not alone. When it comes to the balance of power in the region, our position is better than the past in terms of security and economy,” Azar said.

The Israeli prime minister said that Israel apologized to Turkey because of the volatile situation in Syria.

Azar went on to say that Israel and Turkey have common interests when it comes to Syria. “The common goal is to maintain stability in the country,” he said.

Addressing the strained relations between the two countries, Azar said that Ankara and Tel Aviv can solve the problems that concern each side, adding that the two countries should come to an understanding and move on.

“However, we don’t really know what is going to be the future of the Turkish approach toward Israel. Turkey’s relations with Hamas are seriously disturbing. This situation brings a question to mind — to what extent can we put our eggs in the Turkish basket?” Azar said.

Relations between Turkey and Hamas, which rules Gaza, have been improving since Turkey’s ties with Israel collapsed over the Mavi Marmara incident.

“We have to ask whether Mavi Marmara is the only issue on the table. Where is Turkey heading in terms of political orientation? We look to Turkey-Hamas relations with great concern. We know that Turkey supports the Middle East peace process, but on the other hand it talks with Hamas,” Azar said.

In early October, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal paid a surprise visit to Ankara, where he met with Erdoğan for talks on Palestinian reconciliation and developments in the Middle East.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. GB said:

    I wonder how Jews play dirty games against their fake ally, who constantly playing Armenian Genocide card in US and Israel, in order to get them under the leash!! I wonder if Turks recognize the AG, what will be their faith in Turkey?? This is why Jews lost their homeland long time ago and yet, never learn the lessons of the past to keep their newly independent God given land, safe again!!

    • Hagopian hagopian said:

      What god given land? That god given land that they have been after has been historic armenia.

  2. Garo Kazezian said:

    I don’t believe there is an issue in the relations between Israel & Turkey. This is all a fake show to help Turkey win the leadership of the Islamic world. Notice that Israel did not threaten to recognize the Genocide but threatened to stay neutral which has been Israel’s policy all along. I believe the political ties between the two countries are much deeper than we think and I also believe they share secrets.

    • Justssayin said:

      Of course. Erdogan is a Zionist, just like Kemal was. And Talaat thought Turkish to Jews in Thessaloniki. I agree with everything you wrote. Turkish-Jewish “relations” are deeper than even Turks know..

      • Haygazian Nevart said:

        you are right the armenian Genocide perpetrators were all from Salonic which was called the Balcan Jerusalem

    • tony Kouch said:

      About the so called Israel ?it is a welfare state in every sense of the word –it is America ‘s most favored welfare recipient ,between the Zionist / Turkey / and the America ‘s ?
      as the saying goes every dog has his day

  3. Tsayt said:

    This much open animosity from Jews against Armenians, and they don’t even hide it. When will we push back and teach them a lesson or two? How about recognizing the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, and confirming Jerusalem as an indivisible capital of the Palestinian State. We should join Palestinian demands for the right to return of all refugees, living in camps all over the Arab world.

  4. Yervant Gavar said:

    Angirttutyan amenamedz pasdn A Hryaneroon yev Turkeroon haraperutyiunnereh.

    Yerpek havadaloo yev vishdaheloo chen yergu azkern al vorovhedev iraru nman yen krete,,,
    Megeh arnelov miusin nedel bedk A,,,atykan,,,irentsme pnav okood chikar mezi.

  5. bedros said:

    Israel is and will continue being a handicap for Turkey’s regional power ambitions.
    Nevertheless, come rain come snow, the Jewish lobby will not change course overnight.

  6. Ani said:

    Despicable. Someone should put a muzzle on her fat mouth. This is nothing new. They always use our pain for their benefit. For example, everytime Turkey does or says something against that American military outpost in the ME called “israel” some MK in the knesset brings up the Armenian Genocide. Vile people.

  7. Kevork said:

    This “Toledo” character is an example of the Saphardic Jews who got kicked out of Spain and entered the Ottoman Empire. I see centuries later, nothing has changed, the Spaniards of the time were way ahead of their time apparently.

  8. Serkan said:

    What happened at Davos was theatrical. The AKP party and Israel are of best allies. Same with Morsi of Egypt, Morsi pretended to be against that country, but in reality Morsi and Israel were strong allies.

  9. Dave Johnson said:

    Shocking that Israel often claims to be the conscience of the region and yet behaves so cynically and cruelly in regard to the suffering of Armenians – shame on Israel.

  10. Norin Radd said:

    And yet the ANCA here in the US constantly panders to Jewish groups. They wield influence here and pandering by groups like the ANCA to them will yield nothing significant for us except trivial promises. Adam Schiff does what he does because he is forced to on the basis of his constituents being largely Armenian, if his constituent base changed tomorrow, all of his lip service to the Armenian community would diminish overnight.

    Armenians here in the US must unite and work on our own power base here to counteract such leveraging threats from abroad coming from cockroaches like this lady.

    Can you imagine the audacity of it all? They brandish such influence that they openly make political treats to Turkey regarding events in the USA from a third person perch called Israel. Disgusting, but their days are numbered, the 20th century was their dynastic age here in the US, other US ethnic groups are quickly waking up and forming their own power centers to create a more balanced approach to US foreign policy.

    • ashot said:

      Its all because we have fallen victim to there fake paper money.

      We wont find any power until we loose our love of there fake jew money and start loving ourselves more as Armenians loving one and another instead of whos got the biggest house or nicest car…we may as well be jews.
      The way we act in America

  11. David said:

    Check out NoPlaceforDenial.com. It is doubtful that the ADL, AJC etc, will ever acknowledge our Genocide because, no matter what, they play up to Turkey and wish to hold the Armenian Genocide issue over the heads of the Turks. It is doubtful that the Turks take the Jewish threat seriously anymore, however, as Israel and Jewish groups threaten to recognize the genocide but never do. It is an empty threat, and the Turks know it.

  12. Satenik said:

    The Armenian Genocide is a fact. Armenians feel the pain of this great horror and injustice inside them .We know who were the responsible butchers in the genocide. We know who are those hypocrats who deny the Armenian Genocide. We also know why they have chosen this evil path. We know it! We don’t forget! We won’t forget! We won’t forgive!

  13. Gregory said:

    ——————————-or risk the Jewish lobby to “stay neutral” on that issue.——————————-

    One wonders what would hapen if Armenia did the same with regards to the genocide of the Jews by the Germans. Imagine if like Isael which doesn’t recognise The Armenian Genocide, Armenia did not recognise the jewish genocide.

  14. David said:

    Great article – though please note that Israel’s capital city is Jerusalem (Tel Aviv is our economic hubb). We are very proud of the City’s Armenian quarter, whose Armenian inhabiitants are proud Israeli citizens. Best Regards to Yerevan, from your friends in Jerusalem!

    • Hagopian hagopian said:

      Never was never will be. Al quds belongs to the Palestinians. Go back to Kazaria. You have no relation to biblical Jews.

  15. Hagopian hagopian said:

    My comment to this sharmoota is the same one she poses to the Today’s Zaman. Why are you interfering? This is an issue between Armenians and the government of turkey, after all.”
    Could you elaborate when on your statement ” I am the strongest supporter of the turkish position” which position?
    These people think that they could wrap themselves with the turkish flag and pretend they are Turks, but in reality how guilty are they in regards to our genocide .

  16. HM said:

    Israel has already lost its moral credibility on many issues and they should just stop using the Armenian Genocide as a bargaining tool. And this vile woman goes on about “staying neutral”. if you can’t have the moral courage to speak up for human rights issues, then stop playing politics with the pain of others…

    • Justssayin said:

      Israel and Jewish organizations are masters in playing politics with the pain of others.

  17. Adnan said:

    Turkey can handle things itself. They do not need anyone to advocate for them. In 1923, Turkish independence was all done by Turkish patriots and no one helped Turkey at the time. Israelis should worry about getting rid of Netanyahu. At least nowadays a majority of Turkey doesn’t like Erdogan the dictator.
    To all my Armenian friends, other powers pitted two sides against each other during the 1st World War. I understand when the Ottoman Empire was being autocratic, both Christians, Muslims and Jews of Anatolia wanted to overthrow the autorcratic sultanate. Unfortunately, outside powers (France, Russia, GB, etc.) pitted Christians against Muslims, Christians against Jews, Jews against Muslims, etc. and it caused a tragic set of death on both sides. We have to find a solution which will guarantee fair and just Turkish-Armenian ties and address the needs of Christian and Muslim victims without any 3rd party meddling.

    • Hagopian hagopian said:

      Inbreeding has made you mentally challenged. You need to lay of that asena jane. Enlighten yourself. Don’t lay responsibility on outside powers. There were many fatwas by the caliph and the seikh of islam to annihilate Armenaians from our sacred and holy lands.
      The most amusing comment you made was “…Armenians against jews…”

    • Justssayin said:

      Doesn’t matter if you like Erdogan or not, you’re stuck with him morons. Haha. I especially liked the way he outmaneuvered the military and now is slowly forbidding fun starting with banning alcoholic beverages.. No more raki for you. Tanri uluuuuuuuuuduuuuur LOL :)

  18. JOSEF said:

    Isreal needs to do the right thing and support Armenia and acknowledge the Armenian Genocide!!

  19. Arman said:

    “……. If both countries miss the opportunity to mend the ties, the Israeli lobby will likely stay neutral when 2015 comes.”

    In other words, the Jewish lobbying firms won’t deny the Armenian Genocide anymore???? What a joke these people are.
    What will they tell God who will judge them????……. “Sorry God, Turkey was important for Israel, and they asked us to deny the Armenian Genocide, and we agreed to become accomplices in their crimes of denials and cover ups. Not only did we participate in Turkey’s denial, but we also engaged in obstruction of justice…… hehehehehe, aren’t we still Your chosen people?”
    From now on, on April 24, I will be protesting with signs at the Israeli Consulate and not the Turkish Consulate, to bring the attention of the world on this unimaginable crime that the Israeli Government and many of the world’s Jews are guilty of.

  20. Haygazian Nevart said:

    Armenians should start having some doubts about the shoah than? if the Armenian extermination is not a Genocide than also the jewish one was not an Holocauste, they are so similar the way you describe one you also describe the other only the victims are different Armenians, Syriacs, greeks in the first one jews, Gipssies, homosexuals, blacks and comunists in the second. Germans are present in both, with the difference that the Armenians were exterminated in their ancestral homeland and not in diaspora, which make the singularity of the Armenian Genocide compaired to the shoah.Israel is harming itself in helping denial policies, one day they will realize it. Why should we get scandalized and feel solidarity with the jewish victims when someone like Ahmadinejad that denies the shoah. After all it is justified since Israel and the jewish lobbies do the same and help the turks in doing the same with the Armenian Genocide? You can not criticize someone for something you yourself do! That is what jews should learn first of all.

  21. Roni said:

    I am a Turkish Jew living in America and I agree that Israel is being completely hypocritical about not recognizing the Armenian genocide in order to pander to Turkey. Shame on Israel and all the Jews who deny the Armenian Genocide. I feel much closer to the Armenian people who have suffered through a similar genocide as the Jews then to Turkish people, most of whom deny the AG.

  22. Haygazian Nevart said:

    Israel deserves Hizballah…they will never have peace, they like trouble and look for it to be ale to cry, now they have it so they can cry around thir wall. Palesinians will never renounce from their lands and they ae going to increase in demogrphy,. Armenian should recognize the palestinian Genocide perpetrated by Zionsts. Israel is digging its grave with its own hands and self victimization and monopolization of genocide . All Rotschilds money will not be enough to buy them peace and rest. we do not care about Israel denying the Armenian Genocide,it is a fact tey recognizes it or not, who ae they after all? the more they deny our Genocide the more the entire world discovers who they really are.

  23. herayer said: